cover image Chain of Fire

Chain of Fire

Beverley Naidoo. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, $14 (245pp) ISBN 978-0-397-32426-2

This gripping novel of a black town's resistance to the white South African government's plan to forcibly remove them to their ``homeland'' hundreds of kilometers away blazes with rage. Naidoo focuses on Naledi, a teenage girl, and her growing awareness of the depth of the hatred that has created the apartheid system. As Naledi and the other townspeople become more deeply involved in the resistance, casual cruelties, gross indignities, brutal atrocities and, perhaps most horrifying of all, betrayals from within mount. Chain of Fire is not easy reading, nor should it be; it tackles tough issues head-on and presents them with superb dramatic tension. Readers will fear for Naledi and her friends, cheer them on, weep with them and, when their tale is done, have a deeper appreciation for how precious freedom is. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 11-up. (Apr.)